This post is also available in: Italian
Well, this is a good news, right in the middle of the harvest.
We have just been notified that 2 of our wines, Capatosta, Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2009 and Vallerana Alta Ciliegiolo 2009 have received the maximum award from the “Guida dei Vini d’Italia” of the L’Espresso. This wine guide is considered to be stricter and more selective than others. The Espresso Wine Guide – published by one of the biggest publisher in Italy, awards a lesser number of wines than, for instance, The Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri (in 2011′s edition they awarded 231 “Eccellenze” against 402 of The Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchieri).
This is a good news for a number of reasons:
1) is an acknowledgment of the profound transformation that we have started years ago: no more barriques for Sangiovese, organic farming of all nearly 50 Ha, either ours or leased by us, very small intervention during the wine making, no commercial yeasts, no chemicals, just the smallest possible amount of sulphates.
2) the wine that has undergone the most dramatic change is the Capatosta, so we are particularly happy to see it understood and appreciated from the critic (or at least, a part of it). When you see the wine and compare it with previous vintages, you’ll understand.
3) the awards come from a Wine Guide that is, as already mentioned above, quite strict and with a clear vision of what the wine should be for the editors, and not so much for the “market”. A lot of people have said that it is the most accurate picture of the true Italian wines today. But they weren’t so happy about our wines in the last 3/4 editions. I don’t think that it’s them that have changed their minds, it is more the fact that we have changed the wines We set them free! That’s what I feel.
4) Our work, perhaps we haven’t been exposing this so much, is not just making good wines with simple practices, but above all is a work of trying to find the best, and often the oldest vineyards in Maremma. Not only in the Morellino area, but above all in all those part of Maremma that haven’t been blessed with the exposure of the press. I’m talking about the Pitigliano area, for instance, where we make Alture,
a Sauvignon from a vineyard that is 500 m asl on tufo rock soil. But also, I’m talking about the Ciliegiolo, one of the best grapes of Maremma, long forgotten, misunderstood, ignored. A lot of people tend to think that is just some rustic wine, but our Vallerana Alta, a single vineyard from 50 YO vines, is exactly the opposite. One of the most frequent comment about it is that its tannins remind an elegant Burgundy Pinot Noir.
5) these wines are not the “usual” wines from Maremma, big, fruit-forward, blockbusters, new oak international style wines. They are the opposite. They are wine made by subtraction more than anything. I firmly believe that the true road to Maremma’s terroir doesn’t pass through that international, dense, inky colour wines. I think that Maremma can express great wines. Things are more complex than what often depicted, but at the same time are simpler when one has the courage to let the terroir speak for itself.
And, it’s not finished here. We are currently working on very old grape varieties that we have searched and identified in the old vineyards and vinified separately for the first time in 2011 harvest. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get to taste some amazing new-old wine in the near future, stay tuned.